We’ve already reported on 2015 changes to Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, with the team releasing details on potential changes for coming years.
What was formerly the ticket sales office on the third base side of the Mazda Club Level will become a high-end eating venue providing views from Texas Avenue to the field. In an effort to make Minute Maid Park a more family-friendly venue, the smoking areas will be consolidated to avoid close proximity to any areas designated for children, such as the Minute Maid Park Squeeze Play. Already in place on the Mazda Club Level are Virtuoso Machines, courtesy of Toshiba and Stargel, which provide an interactive experience for fans as they learn more about the Astros team, players, history and updated stats in real time.
“We are very excited to take another step in our ongoing effort to make the fan experience at Minute Maid Park one of the best in baseball,” said Astros Senior Vice President of Business Operations Marcel Braithwaite. “In 2012, we completely reconstructed the Diamond Club, followed by a major renovation of the main concourse’s concessions and retail locations in 2013. This next phase will bring a unified look to our ballpark as a whole and hopefully make every fan feel like he or she has the best seat in the house.”
The renovations to the Mazda Club Level will begin this fall, starting on the third base side and continuing on to the first base side during the winter months. Minute Maid Park will be open and available for events during the renovation process.
The Astros have released more details of Minute Maid Park renovations for 2015 and 2016, past the club and upper-level renovations:
Bigger changes lie ahead following the 2015 season, when the Astros renovate the areas behind the center-field wall, including the possible removal of Tal’s Hill and repositioning of the bullpens. There could even be a Hall of Fame area and a plaza outside the ballpark….
One of the best features coming on the club level is the removal of the ticket office along the third-base side. That area will be opened up, giving fans a view outside the stadium on to Texas Avenue.
“The ballpark is so beautiful and has all of this tremendous architecture,” Braithwaite said. “We want people to look out and in, and just experience the daylight and the sun or the lights shining through the window at night.”
Of course, it’s an annual threat for the team to remove Tal’s Hill: while the center-field terrace pays homage to Crosley Field and Fenway Park’s Duffy’s Cliff, it may be more novelty than anything else these days.